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Ohio farm bloggers meet offline to improve online relationships

Published Jul. 19, 2012 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Ohio Farm Bureau' s blogging workshop provided a chance for members to share information with each other.

Buckeye Farm News

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s first-ever Farm Blogging Workshop, held in June, is helping Ohio farmers be part of a growing online conversation about food and farming.

In recent years, more farmers have turned to blogs (a type of online journal) as a way to share  their story and connect with others.

“This workshop was unique, because it was all about members with common interests sharing and learning from one another, rather than bringing in outside experts,” said Dan Toland, OFBF director of digital strategy.

Participants shared insights on why they blog, how to blog, best strategies and tips for using blogs to engage readers and more during the full-day workshop.

A diverse range of interests were represented — from conventional livestock and crop farmers to a college student starting a tomato farm, to members with nonfarm jobs. From no experience to the very experienced, the workshop included opportunities for members to start, maintain and improve upon their blogging efforts.

“The result was a dynamic, informal, engaged and energetic day that we feel provided members with a great sense of belonging and community,” Toland said. “We hope they continue to network with one another and build upon their connections and shared base of knowledge.”

It also provides future opportunities for members to showcase their individual personalities and diversity of Ohio agriculture in efforts to better connect with those interested in food and farming.

Farm Bureau member Mike Haley, along with his co-bloggers, shared specific examples of how they use blogs to reach beyond the “ag choir,” and how they have been able to have breakthrough conversations with a nonfarm audience with influential results.

OFBF Senior Director of Issues Management David White also shared the latest research and findings from the U.S. Farmers Ranchers Alliance on having conversations about agriculture.

Post-workshop blog posts from those in attendance provided positive reviews:

“(Those at the workshop were) just people with a common interest sharing knowledge and ideas. What a pleasant way to spend a day,” Farm Bureau member Chuck Wildman blogged. “It is nice to have the chance to be a friendly social person, just the way God made me. Being that in a room (instead of online) with like minded people is especially pleasant.”

“It was an awesome experience! I appreciate the opportunity to share my story but most importantly, to learn from so many other wonderful people,” said Jennifer Kiko, a workshop presenter and blogger .

If you have an interest in participating in an Ohio Farm Blog workshop, contact Wanda Campbell at wcampbell@ofbf.org or call 614-246-8271.

Read blog posts about the workshop from those who attended it at http://ofb.ag/BloggerRecaps.

Photo Credit Photo by Jennifer Kiko



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